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NJ GOP Gets a New and Old Boss

In the world of politics a lot can change in just a few weeks. In early January, Gov. Chris Christie named Bill Stepien as chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Stepien was to replace the departing Sam Raia, but that was then and this is now.

(Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Everything changed when Stepien became embroiled in the Bridgegate scandal. Today, the NJ GOP announced Raia is coming back, at least for now.

Stepien managed both of Christie’s gubernatorial campaigns and was the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff from 2010 to 2012. He was also ready to take over consulting duties for the Republican Governor’s Association where he would work closely with Christie who is RGA chairman. Christie squashed that job for Stepien and withdrew his name for Republican State Committee boss after his involvement in the Bridgegate scandal came to light.

“I’ve asked Bill Stepien to be our new State Party Chairman because no one better understands how to grow our Party, communicate our message and, most importantly, win elections,” Christie said on Jan. 7. “Bill Stepien is the best Republican operative in the country, and New Jersey Republicans will be fortunate to have him leading our Party.”

Today, Raia withdrew his resignation as NJGOP Chairman.

I look forward to continuing our work at the state party to elect Republicans throughout New Jersey,” Raia said. “We have filled out our staff with top operatives, all with extensive experience working throughout New Jersey, and our party is poised to actively campaign in every corner of the state in the coming months.”

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